What’s new at Phoenix Ski Hill

Phoenix Ski Hill has a full schedule of events and new programs for 2012 season.

Adrian Krist helping people with the T-bar lift at Phoenix Mountain last year.

Adrian Krist helping people with the T-bar lift at Phoenix Mountain last year.

What’s new

The staff and board of Phoenix Mountain Ski Hill have been hard at work during the off-season with some new upgrades for the public to enjoy.

The lodge upgrade was funded through the regional district gas tax fund. This project has upgraded the lodge to include energy efficient windows and doors throughout, a new ceiling on the upper floor and inside walls have been redone.

In addition, the ski hill upgraded all the light fixtures within the lodge and maintenance and rental shops.

Although estimates are rough, we believe the energy savings could approach 50,000 kW.

You’ll also notice some new upgrades in the lodge cafeteria, including new dining tables and benches throughout.

Events

Phoenix has a full schedule of events for the upcoming season. It begins with the Free Night Ski events, which started Jan. 14 and continue every Saturday night until Feb. 11 inclusive. All of the free ski night sponsors have rented Phoenix Ski Hill for the evening and graciously invited everyone to come and join them for a free ski night at the hill.

Following the free ski night events, we have the Phoenix Open Ski and Snowboard Races on Sun, Feb 19, which pits all our Phoenix skiers and boarders (young and old) down a slalom course, vying for the best time within their age category and gender.

Next, on Sunday, Feb. 26, we are fortunate enough to once again host the Nancy Greene Ski League zone race. Red Mountain in Rossland, as well as Salmo Ski Hill, Summit Lake Ski Hill in Nakusp and Whitewater Ski Hill in Nelson will send their teams to Phoenix for a day of racing.

The Nancy Greene league is a learn-to-ski race program for children aged four to 12 years.

For more info about joining this program please contact Astrid Kihl at 250-442-2221.

The Phoenix Park Jam event takes place on Saturday, Mar. 10. This event is certainly not for the faint of heart, and draws in the youth from all over to test their skills in the upper jam park and lower jump venue.

We conclude our event schedule with the Spring Fling/Downhill Dummy Race on Sunday, April 1.

We would like to encourage more businesses in Grand Forks and area to participate by building and entering a dummy racer. Bring them up to the hill and we will send them down a run, which includes a jump at the end. Big air counts in this event.

Learn-to-ski programs

Phoenix has a variety of learn-to-ski and board programs.

Kids Learn to Ski is for three group lessons and is held on Saturdays. The first session began on Jan. 14 and the second session is starting on Feb. 11.

The four and five-year-olds are on the hill from 10 to 11 a.m., followed by the six to 12-year-olds from 11 a.m. to noon.

Cougars and Cubs is a parent and child, single group lesson for children ages five and under.

This program is designed specifically to help parents teach their child to ski and falls on the same dates as the Kids Learn to Ski program, beginning at noon.

Rock the Park is a two-hour group clinic in which students learn basic-intermediate tips and techniques on a variety of features within the jam park.

This clinic is open to ages seven to 12 and will go from 10 a.m. to noon on Feb. 17 and is dependent on snow.

KinderSki Lesson is a half hour private lesson for children two to five years.

In addition, Phoenix offers ski and boarding instruction to those interested, in a group setting (minimum three), semi-private, as well as private.

All those interested in a lesson or package or more details, please phone the snow school at: 250-445-6565 or email snowdaez@hotmail.com.

Current Conditions

We would like to have more snow and currently have a base of a little over 10 inches (25.4 cm) with 10 of 16 runs open. A silver lining in all of this is that when the rain hit the hill in late-December, it left us with a six-inch (15.24 cm) base of ice, which should bode us well for the latter part of the season. When fully operational, Phoenix Ski Hill offers terrain for all levels of skiers and boarders, with four novice, six intermediate and six advanced runs.

In addition, we have two jam parks. The upper park is a full-feature park with some new additions. The lower park is more of a novice park, where kids can experiment with small jumps and rollers within a safe environment.

Unfortunately, we have not been able to open either park as of yet due to insufficient snow.

To safely open the upper park, we need to see about a foot (30 cm) of more snow. We could look at opening the lower park with somewhat less snow.

What’s Ahead

Every one would agree that the Phoenix is a very diverse and beautiful area and with that in mind, we would like local communities to view this region as a winter recreational area, not just a “down hill ski hill area.”

We are beginning the process of building trails and putting systems in place to incorporate other winter activities such as Nordic skiing and snowshoeing.

There is much work to do but this certainly is a vision we would like to see come to fruition in the very near future.

– Phoenix Ski Hill